13 Sep 2020

State Election Campaign

On the election campaign this week, Chris enticed Lauren Day, LNP candidate for Maiwar on to her bike for the first time in about three years for a ride around the electorate. Having been a triathlete, Lauren is quite comfortable cycling on the road, but discovered that some of the off-road facilities – like along Lambert Rd, St Lucia – are quite substandard.

Stopping by the Indooroopilly Riverwalk construction site, Chris highlighted the importance of improving access between there and the Centenary Bikeway via Witton Rd. He also pointed out that any plans to duplicate the Centenary Bridge (which the LNP have said they will do if in government) should include scope to upgrade the Fig Tree Pocket Road interchange and cycling connections to Kenmore.

Lauren really enjoyed the ride (apart from the magpie attack) and after the election is keen to join us for one of our Tuesday night slow rolls.

Last weekend, Belinda caught up with Member for Greenslopes, Joe Kelly MP (Labor) at one of his mobile offices. When they first went for a bike ride together, back in early 2017, a few of the issues they discussed were Stage E of the Veloway (now open and awesome) and a connection from the Veloway to the Eleanor Schonell Bridge via the PA Hospital Bikeway plus a bridge over the rail lines – which is now included in the plans for Cross River Rail. Joe also helped lobby for the Norman Creek Bikeway underpass beneath Logan Rd at Stones Corner, which is now included in Council’s plan for Hanlon Park. That’s a good track record!

Since we’ve already ridden with Joe a few times, we probably won’t manage again before the October election. But we did have a quick chat about what’s needed next, including how to better connect to state government transport infrastructure on the edges of the Greenslopes electorate – the Veloway, Eastern Busway, and rail line at Coorparoo. Belinda also asked Joe to help advocate for better truck safety standards, especially for those used on state government projects like Cross River Rail.

Belinda also caught up with a couple of the candidates for the Aspley electorate at the Carseldine Farmers Market:

Belinda with Bart Mellish MP

First, the current Member for Aspley, Labor’s Bart Mellish MP. They had a chat about the Beams Road overpass (see below), the new bridge across Cabbage Tree Creek to Aspley State High, and the next stage of the Chermside to Aspley Bikeway – which is one of the projects Brisbane City Council successfully nominated as “shovel-ready” for funding under the State Government’s COVID Works for Queensland program. Bart is booked in to join Terry from Brisbane North BUG for a ride later this week to check out some of the issues and opportunities on the ground.

Belinda with Amanda Cooper

After enjoying her ride with Andrew from Brisbane North BUG on a borrowed bike recently, LNP candidate for Aspley, Amanda Cooper told Belinda she’s keen to get a bike again. But she also noted that while there are some great paths for recreational riding in the Aspley electorate, the options for commuters wanting a direct route from A to B often aren’t the best. (Belinda can confirm after a zig-zag trip from the city to Carseldine). They also spoke about the next stage of the Chermside to Aspley Bikeway, which was first planned when Amanda was Councillor for Bracken Ridge and Chair of the Infrastructure Committee. It will be great to see this finally underway.

Gabba Bikeway – Rider Down!

Despite signs and flashing signals, dozens of drivers illegally turn left each evening across the Gabba Bikeway. This is the inevitable result; a rider hit. [Language Warning]

Before the Gabba Bikeway was built

The left turn from Stanley St onto the M1 at Woolloongabba has always been prohibited during the afternoon peak (4-6pm weekdays) in an effort to stop vehicles from clogging the intersection of Stanley and Leopard St. When the Woolloongabba Bikeway was planned, traffic counts showed that very few people used the turn outside peak times, so TMR and Brisbane City Council agreed to close it permanently.

Although that plan received strong support during two rounds of community consultation, local member Jackie Trad MP intervened during construction, insisting that freeway access from Stanley St be retained on behalf of residents not happy about having to drive a short loop via Allen, Vulture, and Leopard St to reach the freeway.

Unfortunately that has resulted in the situation we have now: despite signs and flashing signals, dozens of drivers illegally turn left each evening.

We can confirm that the rider in our video was not significantly injured, and the driver pulled over and came back to check and exchange details. The scary thing is how likely this is to happen again (but worse) while nothing changes.

North Brisbane Bikeway Stage 4

In better news: One of the biggest obstacles for people riding into the city from Brisbane’s north and northeast is about to be fixed. Construction starts this month on the long-awaited path along Dickson Street, between Wooloowin Station and Price Streetstage 4 of the North Brisbane Bikeway. We’re excited that Department of Transport and Main Roads has reached this stage, and look forward to safer riding when it is completed in mid 2021, separated from the fast traffic and parked cars.

This is a big win for members of Brisbane North BUG, Brisbane CBD BUG and Airport BUG who have been campaigning for more than a decade to get this built. And it’s a big win for all the people who have been too afraid to ride into the city, who will now have a safe route. It will be healthier for them, while reducing traffic congestion at the same time.

Wynnum Road

Sadly, the news wasn’t so good in the eastern suburbs. EaST BUG received notification this week that the main works on the Wynnum Road Corridor “Upgrade” Stage 1B are complete, apart from minor landscape works and defect rectifications. We contend that the bikeway (shared footpath) is full of defects that need rectifying, but unfortunately, any improvements for people walking and cycling were out of scope.

Riders from the eastern suburbs are relieved to see the end of this dreadful project and return to just having to dodge the usual hazards on what’s supposed to be the major cycle route to the east.

Carseldine; Beams Road Overpass

The Cabbage Tree Creek Bikeway has a major discontinuity between Beams Rd, Fitzgibbon (next to the Big Easy Golf Centre) and Dorville Rd – from where there’s quite a good connection south-west and under Gympie Rd. You can get through behind the Carseldine Government precinct carpark and a pathway to Dorville Rd, but that route has always been difficult to find, and is even more so now, with construction going on at the Carseldine Village.

The Department of State Development website for Carseldine Village mentions:

“Cabbage Tree Creek pedestrian and cycle bridge, Construction has commenced and is due for completion by mid-2020.”

See: https://haveyoursay.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/carseldine

We’ve found one end of that path, and the signs to Cabbage Tree Creek Bridge, and Aspley State High School. Curiously though, it’s also labelled “Cabbage Tree Creek Bikeway” as if it also leads onward, and not just to another confusing dead end. Guess we’ll have to wait until mid-2020 to find out…. Oh wait.

Nearby, Department of Transport and Main Roads are currently progressing the Beams Road overpass project and expanding park ‘n’ ride facilities at Carseldine Station. Now is the time to get involved to ask about active transport connections on the new overpass, as well as underneath it along the rail line, to the station, and how this project might finally complete the missing link in the Cabbage Tree Creek Bikeway.

Like some of the bikeways in the area, TMR’s community information session about the project held at the Carseldine Farmers Market on the weekend was a bit hard to find. But there was still plenty of interest. Andrew, Belinda and Stephen rolled up to advocate for good cycling and walking facilities on the overpass and under it on both sides. It would be great to connect the loose ends of the Cabbage Tree Creek Bikeway, and ensure excellent bike access to Carseldine Station, local schools, and sporting facilities.

There are two further sessions this week:

  • Wednesday 16 September, 7-9am at the Carseldine station
  • Saturday 19 September, 8.30-10.30am at the Carseldine Farmers Market

If you’re in the area, please get along and insist that the project includes good active transport connections as a priority, not just in the margins. You don’t need to be a technical expert; just ask as someone who walks, cycles, and catches public transport:

How will this help me get from A to B; will that be safe for my kids or my elderly parents; and what’s being done to make walking and/or cycling the most convenient and attractive option for local trips?

Questions to ask about any major infrastructure project

You can also have your say by completing the online feedback survey before 5pm Sunday 4 October 2020.

Breakfast Creek Green Bridge

On the weekend Belinda caught up with Hamilton Ward Councillor, Cr David McLachlan, who had also cycled down to Cameron Rocks Reserve to the final community information session about the Breakfast Creek green bridge.

Mitch and Belinda took the opportunity to ask the technical team more about the connections to the planned bridge. We were happy to learn that the path continuing the Loris Bonney Riverwalk will be 6m wide, with delineated space for pedestrians (on the river side) and people cycling. The path from the bridge to Newstead Ave will be widened to 3m and marked for cycling only, while pedestrians will be directed to the existing footpath or the paths through Newstead Park. Along Newstead Ave, the path will again be shared, but upgraded to 4m, and from there the major cycle route is intended to be Newstead Tce – but an upgrade to improve that for cycling would be a future project.

Belinda also made the case for an improved connection from the new bridge to the path under the existing Breakfast Creek bridge and upstream, which can be used to reach Sandgate Rd towards Albion (if you’re brave) and through Bowen Hills next to the Inner City Bypass to get across to the RBWH. There are apparently some challenges with services under the old footpath, and because the clearance in the existing underpass does not meet current standards.

Other Local News

After years of insistence that it was impossible to build a ramp to allow people on bikes to transition between the South Bank Promenade and the Cultural Centre tunnel and roadway on Victoria Bridge… a ramp has appeared! It looks like this is only a temporary measure while the boardwalk is closed, so enjoy it while it lasts…

Meanwhile, on the north side, the path connecting the Gateway North Bikeway to Weyers Rd, Nudgee looks very nearly ready to ride…

Finally, the Brisbane Times reported this week that Brisbane City Council wants to take e-scooters off CBD footpaths and allow riders to use bike lanes to protect pedestrians. Wait. What bike lanes??

We think e-scooters a quite a good fit with bikes; they travel at similar speeds, with a similar movement pattern, spatial envelope, and mass. Bikes, scooters, and other similar personal mobility devices can move thousands of people efficiently, quietly, with near-zero emissions. Allowing them to use bike lanes will free up precious space on our crowded footpaths.

Citing ‘safety reasons’ for why e-scooters are currently not permitted to use on-road bike lanes or ride on roads in the CBD just highlights that those streets really aren’t safe for cycling either.

It was good to hear Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner reiterate in Council this week that delivering the CityLink Cycleway in partnership with the State Government is one of his top priorities right now. He mentioned how this would connect West End, via the Victoria Bridge, into the city (where we know the plans are for separate cycleways on Elizabeth and Edward Streets). We still don’t have any implementation details, but are really keen to see this move forward.

The best time to build protected cycleways in the city was 10 years ago. The second-best time is now!